Title:
Electronic four of a kind promotional display with tracking system
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A promotional display communicating with a plurality of gaming machines. The promotional display optionally monitors the gaming machines to verify wins in a base game triggering the promotional display. Upon triggering, the promotional display optionally randomly selects an outcome that may supplement the award in a base game.



Inventors:
Guinn Jr., Robert Gerald (Henderson, NV, US)
Tsunis II, Nicholas J. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Laird, Charles K. (Las Vegas, NV, US)
Application Number:
10/699031
Publication Date:
05/05/2005
Filing Date:
11/03/2003
Assignee:
GUINN ROBERT G.JR.
TSUNIS NICHOLAS J.II
LAIRD CHARLES K.
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24; G07F17/32; (IPC1-7): A63F9/24
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
YOO, JASSON H
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
ROBERT RYAN MORISHITA (MORISHITA LAW FIRM, LLC 1475 North Main Street #D203, Layton, UT, 84041, US)
Claims:
1. A tracking system in which the primary function is to electronically display a promotional prize award based on poker game outcomes with four of a kind awards on gaming machines.

2. A tracking system of claim 1 where the prize award is based on other poker game card outcomes such as four to the royal, or straight flush.

3. (canceled)

4. A random number generation unit tied to said tracking system for setting specific odds to the end promotional resulting award.

5. A method by which gaming establishment can use to give out awards based on gaming machine wins that is tied to individual machines for verification that the said award is authentic.

6. A method of claim 5 that is optionally tied to a procedure whereby the staff uses a digital camera to verify wins.

7. A method where additional awards are given to patrons through the use of a verification system that ensures the criteria for said additional award is met.

8. (canceled)

9. An animated wheel display with individual segments tied to prize awards or cash whereby each segment can be weighed according to claim 4.

10. A graphic display that shows the patrons within a venue operating poker machines the final promotional award based on specific outcomes of the poker machine.

11. (canceled)

12. Additional buttons tied to claim 10 where the button chose by each player will instantiate a unique theme tied to graphic animations to enhance (upgrade) the final promotional button activation.

13. The option of adding multiple buttons to the remote controlled device in claim 10 whereby the buttons can activate specific promotional functions on the overhead display.

14. (canceled)

15. A method of linking sites together through conventional phone lines or network lines in order to accumulate higher awards for large promotional giveaways.

16. A method of linking sites together in claim 15 in order to display promotional events occurring at other remote locations.

17. A method of linking sites together in claim 15 whereby the system can be utilized to show common advertisements.

Description:

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

An electronic promotional method of generating, displaying, and promoting random prizes and cash awards when specific Four of A Kind Poker Card Outcomes are achieved within a gaming establishment through use of animation sequences including an animated wheel display along with an electronic tracking system for generating win outcomes and auditing win results.

Most small gaming operators are versed in the use of promotions to increase play and sustain existing play by giving players an additional feature or prize when they have successfully played a poker hand that consists of a four of a kind. This promotion has been commonly referred to amongst small gaming operators as a “four of a kind promotion.” This provisional patent for a “Four of a Kind Promotional Display with Tracking System” herein referred to “FOD” is described below:

While this type of promotion has been successful in many venues, there are deficiencies with regard to the typical promotion-which is covered herein. The typical four of a kind promotion does not offer controls that offer a fair outcome to the player. Most promotions are done through use of a manual spinning wheel and a bartender that verifies the wheel outcome after the spin is completed. This technique offers no automated auditing; which is helpful for tracking history, resolving disputes, and validating actual payouts at end of shift.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The FOD solution uses an electronic random number generator tied to an animated visual display that stores the resulting win in a database. This offers the operator an option to audit all payouts with the bartenders and allows for detailed historical reporting. Additionally, the FOD solution will not bias any promotions generated by hand (drawings or manual wheel spins) where a factor of skill can cause the promotional odds to change in order for the bartender to offer higher prize levels to achieve better tips.

The typical four of a kind promotion does not offer the flexibility of offering high prize awards because of the hit frequency associated with four of a kind poker promotions. In practice, most Card of the Day promotions are limited to $20 because of the frequency in which the four of a kinds occur. Promotions held today commonly use a 14 segment wheel that is spun by the bartender. Each segment has an equal chance of winning. At best, the odds can be weighed 14:1—not accounting for bartender bias in the manual spin process. Having a prize award associated with this type of wheel is limited because the operator cannot have a promotion that will change the combined game hold percentage plus the promotional expense to a negative expectation. The FOD solution utilizing a wheel with 14 segments is much different, however, as the segments can be divided up into specific probabilities ranging from 1:1,000,000 or more. This allows individual operators to offer substantially higher prize awards without creating a negative return expectation on the gaming revenues.

The typical four of a kind promotion is not linked to other four of a kind promotions at other establishments; which offers the operators to combine accrued promotional dollars into a large progressive pool that offers players more excitement and less risk per operator than a promotion that is not linked. These progressive pools can be displayed simultaneously at each bar location utilizing the FOD linked software technology that tracks promotional four of a kind spins, accruals, and hits through all properties and stores this information at a central site for reporting and auditing. The linked four of a kind promotion tied to the animation on a wheel offers visual excitement, while offering a dynamically increasing progressive cash award that is funded by multiple operators.

The typical four of a kind promotion does not offer the security for tracking actual hits electronically to a digital camera that the bartender can utilize to snapshot the four of a kind. This virtually eliminates possible cheating by the bartender spinning a wheel when the resultant four of a kind either did not exist, or existed without the minimum bet requirement for the qualification to spin the promotional wheel. In addition, this four of a kind promotion can be verified by electronically reading the card outcomes from games that offer this in the protocol to the FOD system.

The FOD solution gives the operators the ability to develop presentations in a standard format that will be automatically integrated into the FOD display during non-promotional activity time. This gives the operator the flexibility to utilize a promotional device that is seamlessly integrated into the electronic wheel promotion.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWING

Following is an example of a visual electronic wheel that has segments that can be assigned varying values. The wheel spins, landing on a resulting segment, which is pre-determined ahead of time by a random number generator. The resulting segment refers to a dollar or prize award that the patron is given. Additionally, the result is stored in the database for future reporting and auditing. Another feature of the segments is to offer unique, secondary events to further the entertainment aspect of the FOD. This can be a “double segment” or an “animation sequence” that starts up when the outcome is displayed.